George Feeny’s Words of Wisdom

This Boy Meets World clip was aired in 1997 under the title “Quiz Show“.  I found it on Reddit and thought it was worthwhile to share.  I watched this episode for this post to give a proper understanding of what transpires.    Topanga, Sean, and Corey get put on a floundering game show that does much better when Corey and Sean pump up the crowd because they are “cute” and “fun to watch”.   The producers rig the game with comic and entertainment questions so they succeed.  A once educational show trends downward towards mindless TV which we are all too familiar with.  Obviously the above clip signifies the turn and the kids start to realize that they are being used by the network.  The kids suggest going back to the educational program which is denied and they lose the final round with Sean’s candid answer.  They show up for class early the next day with an increased awareness for learning.  By current standards, the episode sucked but had a good lesson.

[blockquote source=”George Feeny”]”Champions of what Mr. Matthews?  Of a generation whose verbal and mathmatical skills have sunk so low … when you have the highest level of technology at your fingertips.  Guttenberg’s generation thirsted for a new book every 6 months.  Your generation gets a new webpage every 6 seconds.  How do you use this technology?  To beat King Koopa and save the Princess.  Shame on you.  You deserve what you get.”[/blockquote]

 

 Feeny’s Point

We are using all of this information at our fingertips incorrectly.  Instead of using it for knowledge, we use it for entertainment.  Knowledge is the greatest power in the universe and are not taking advantage of it.   Our generation and future generations are getting dumber even with all of this additional information.  Just look in the comment section of any youtube video and see the nonsense that is being spouted.  Do kids even know how to write with a pencil anymore?  Different skill sets are being catered to our younger children and an older person would never understand but always think negatively.  I wonder what Feeny would say now?

Johann Gutenberg invented the printing press which is perhaps the greatest invention of all time.  It revolutionized the way information was shared.  While the people of this time were waiting for new information every 6 months, what were they doing in the meantime?  Maybe they did thirst for new knowledge at a greater rate but that’s probably because their options were limited.   I’d be curious to know how much downtime there was in the 1400’s.  Feeny’s comparison may not hold true from a knowledge stand point, but I have a feeling that the common folk were much more productive than our common folk.

Our generation wastes an incredible amount of time on entertainment.   By entertaining yourself with movies, TV shows, and games, you are accomplishing little.  Your brain is getting a roller coaster ride but you’re not actually doing anything productive.  Is it that much different than reading a book and learning about the world in the 1500’s?  It’s just a different form of exercising your mind.  I’m sure you can make the distinction between quality of programming that would fit into this discussion in a clearer fashion but entertainment will never die.
This clipping hopefully will answer some questions about what older generations think about younger generations.

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Mr. Feeny is looking at the younger generation and shaking his head.  This is commonplace.  Older generations always think they know more and they probably do. They understand more about discipline, learning, and the future.  They know the skills that you need to succeed and for humanity to continue.  They don’t always know how the future will develop.  Maybe Mr. Feeny should be more open minded about video games as the best players could save the universe ala Enders Game.  I’m trying not to miss the point though because it all boils down to not grasping the information by the horns.  People in 2014 should be 100x smarter than when we were in the 1400’s but I guarantee you it would take me a hell of a lot of Wikipeding to make my own printing press.  To quote Mr. Feeny, “We live in a random and chaotic universe”.

To close this post I wanted to share some youtube comments from the clip.

  • Mr. Feeney’s hatin cuz all his best speed run times got beat by middle schoolers.
  • DID THIS GUY JUST SHIT ON MY LEVEL 100 POKEMON
  • you can tell most people commenting on this video are piece of shit teenagers born in the late 90’s.
  • Use the technology we have today in the internet to learn, gain knowledge and further society. Not candy crush, angry birds, or the next great time sucker.
  • The teacher (really the writer or character I mean not the actor of course) dosent realize that his argument has been said since books were just being made. People use to argue that the best way to spread and preserve knowledge was through orating but that is totally bogus. Also books became entertainment as well and people probably complained about that too. This is a cycle that will keep on going because people are nostalgic and are afraid of the next thing because they know they won’t be part of it, and soon will be extinct from it and from life and theyre afraid of that so at times they unknowingly cling on to old beliefs without really questioning it. The good thing he mentioned is on how its being used. If a webpage is being made every 6 seconds thats fckin amazing especially for back then, good coding is not the easiest thing to do. Also funny thing is that King Koopa thing made me laugh because video games actually help medical surgeons and other people with strategic thinking and multi-tasking. The argument should have been to much of one thing can be a bad thing and there needs to be breadth along with the depth not just on or the other.
  • Shame on you, Mr. Feenie! Shame on your generation for pulling up the ladder and berating us for not being able to reach! Shame on your generation for raping the earth and making that the MO of humanity for decades to come. Shame on your generation for ignoring, denying, and outlawing human rights! Shame on you for sitting in your ivory tower while a nation and world falls in to decay around you! You older people need to get your heads out of your asses and fucking TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for this world and society you have left the rest of us with. THIS IS YOUR FAULT.